Tag Archives: Aaron Swartz

Larissa MacFarquhar

Most activists, in his experience, would launch big campaigns about big issues and do things that they guessed would be beneficial, like running television ads or sending out direct mail, but they never did the work to figure out whether what they were doing was actually changing policy. He couldn’t stand that there were so many bad, inefficient nonprofits out there, eating up donor money. When a business was based on a bad idea, it failed, but nonprofits never failed—they just kept on raising cash from people who wanted to believe in them. He imagined himself travelling around the country as judge and executioner, closing down hundreds of ineffective N.G.O.s.

Larissa MacFarquhar, ‘Requiem for a Dream’, The New Yorker, March 11, 2013